The Cleveland Browns closed out the second and final day of their joint practices with the Philadelphia Eagles on Tuesday, a day that saw Philadelphia’s defense get a bit chippy.
A day after the Cleveland defense got the better of Philadelphia’s offense, the Eagles defense decided to flex its muscles. A scuffle ensued after the first of two interceptions by Philadelphia safety Reed Blakenship, and Eagles defensive end Josh Sweat got a bit too familiar with Cleveland quarterback Deshaun Watson by knocking the ball out of his hand on what would have been a sack.
It was that last bit, along with a few other indiscretions, that got under the skin of Cleveland left guard Joel Bitonio, who came to practice, not fight, against the Eagles (quote via a team-provided transcript):
“We’re going into this week trying to get better in practice and work, and sometimes there are some cheap shots and things like that where you want to defend yourself. And I don’t know the exact situation, but there’s a couple shots today where we’re trying to make sure we’re getting the best out of practice and not fighting. But it was just a little heated. Second day, it always gets a little bit more fired up.
“I mean, that’s why you do two days, because three days would be bloodbath the last day. So even two days gets a little bit chippy the second day. You go back, you watch the film, you’re like, ‘Oh, we got to do this better. They got to do this better.’ And, you know, the next day is going to be a little bit more ramped up.”
Fortunately, Cleveland head coach Kevin Stefanski was able to calm everyone down before things got too serious, and getting smacked around a little bit may help the Browns in the long run as they will see far worse from the likes of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens this fall.
Joel Bitonio on practice getting chippy today. pic.twitter.com/pmr2Zm46h0— Dan Labbe (@dan_labbe) August 15, 2023
Hopefully, there will be little to no carryover from today’s shenanigans when the two teams meet on Thursday night for Cleveland’s third preseason game, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at Lincoln Financial Field. The game will be televised in the Cleveland market on WEWS News 5, with Chris Rose and Joe Thomas in the booth and Aditi Kinkhabwala on the sidelines.
The game will be televised nationally on the NFL Network.